Watch: A Giant Squid Grabs a Guy's Paddle Board, Tips Him Over

Giant squids are elusive, mysterious creatures that have starred in more than a few pirate legends for their size (up to 59 feet!) and diet (small freakin' whales!). So you can imagine having one try to steal your paddle board — while you're still riding it — would feel a little too 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for most people's comfort. Which probably makes James Taylor, the almost-victim of nautical robbery, the chillest dude on the planet.

ALSO: Paddleboarding the Seventh Continent[1]

Taylor recently shared a video[2] taken back in March to Instagram, chronicling a run-in with an injured giant squid in the waters of Melkbosstrand, a coastal village about 20 miles north of Cape Town. In the video, you can see the giant squid wrapping its tentacles around Taylor’s board as he ties a rope around it to drag the big lug to shore. Normally, an encounter with a giant squid wouldn’t materialize so easily with close contact, but this particular giant squid happened to be injured and was unable to swim away.

Taylor, in a Facebook comment[3] on his profile explaining the encounter, made clear that he made the decision to wrangle the squid onto shore after he saw that it was lethargic, covered in bite marks, and missing some of its tentacles. "I wanted to try get it to the beach for research purposes before it got more damaged by seals in the area," his comment reads. "It was quite badly injured and barely alive when I caught it. It didn't even really try and get away, so we ended up putting it out of its misery when we got to the beach. It felt like the best thing to do at the time."

Upon bringing the squid to shore, and, having been unable to reach anyone at the waterfront aquarium to pick up the animal, Taylor and company dissected the body and photographed the findings in case researchers wanted them for study. This has been a controversial detail in the aftermath of the video being published, bringing criticism from animal rights and environmental activists, but Taylor stands by his actions, saying staff at the aquarium sent the videos Taylor took to a professor “who has been studying giant squid in South Africa for the last 15 years, and he was very excited about the find."

ALSO: Watch a Shark's Point of View as it Cruises the Ocean Floor[4]

After hearing back from scientists, it turns out the specimen was indeed a true giant squid. In hindsight, Taylor realized how fortunate he was not to meet a fully healthy squid in its natural deep-sea habitat. The paddle boarder shared another video from Animal Planet[5] to his Facebook page, showing a diver being mauled by the giant squid’s cousin — the Humboldt squid — captioning his post, “After seeing this, I am very glad the one we found was almost dead!”


  1. ^ ALSO: Paddleboarding the Seventh Continent (
  2. ^ shared a video (
  3. ^ Facebook comment (
  4. ^ ALSO: Watch a Shark's Point of View as it Cruises the Ocean Floor (
  5. ^ video from Animal Planet (

The Mountain Waits for No Man, Even Alex Honnold

Earlier this month, Alex Honnold pulled off one of the most audacious free-solo climbs ever, up the nearly 3,000-foot vertical face of Yosemite’s El Capitan. So how does the planet's greatest climber follow it up? Not a problem. Honnold has reunited with two climbing partners, filmmaker and climber Renan Ozturk and alpinist Freddie Wilkinson, to take a second crack at a formidable route, called the Wine Bottle Tower, up the East Face of Alaska's Mount Dickey. Men’s Journal is tagging along to see if they can pull it off, and we’ll have regular updates as the team makes their way up the mountain, which rises 5,000 feet from the base of Ruth Glacier.

MOUNT DICKEY, ALASKA, 6/22/2017 ­— After a few days of waiting for the Wine Bottle Tower on the East Face of Mount Dickey to dry off, a go-for-broke climb seems increasingly less likely for the team. The conditions are just not right, thanks to a wet spring. They’re considering another significant climb in the area, but have not yet made a decision on what (or have at least not shared their intentions). In the meantime, for somewhat obscure reasons — perhaps just for the hell of it — they’ve decided instead to ski up and down the lower-angled West Face of Dickey. This was Bradford Washburn’s route on the first ascent of the peak, which probably plays some role in that decision. Still, it’s an odd challenge considering Honnold isn't much of a skier.

The three didn’t end up making it to the top, but it was an exciting day nonetheless. The crevasse issue in Ruth Gorge was a concern, and Honnold’s ability to descend Dickey was an interesting question, but he was fine. The three might try another route on the Stump tomorrow, but it’s hard to say. There’s now fog coming in, but there’s still a few days to make anything happen. 


Congressman Rob Bishop is Now Asking Taxpayers for $50 Million to Help Sell Federal Lands

Utah representatives Rob Bishop (left) and Jason Chaffetz (right) are waging war on public lands. Credit: Getty Images

This week Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, asked budget writers to set aside $50 million to account for the costs to transfer federal lands to state governments — only a couple months after the House approved new rules that allowed the government to transfer lands without budgetary assessment.

MORE: The New Federal Land Transfer Rules, Explained[3]

“Poorly managed federal lands create a burden for surrounding states and communities,” Bishop wrote in his fiscal assessment for the Committee on Natural Resources. “The solution is to convey certain lands to state, local, and tribal governments, without limiting strings attached, including reversionary clauses... Fiscal prudence paired with responsible resource development is a core driver of job creation, fiscal stability, and greater opportunity for our people.” The word conservation is mentioned once (and in a negative light) in the 13-page document.

We still don't know what lands, exactly, Bishop is talking about. “Bishop’s language wasn’t very clear, and that may have been intentional,” says Chris Krupp of Wild Earth Guardians[6]. “I don’t know how he came up with this $50 million budget number, but you can imagine the value of the public lands he wants to sell out from under us if he thinks the associated costs are $50 million.”

MORE: Why the Sale of an Oregon State Forest is a Bad Sign For America's Public Lands[7]

Krupp notes that the $50 million cost could include tasks like environmental and cultural analyses, surveying work, auction costs, and more — things typically done before a piece of land is sold. The reason Bishop gives for the set-aside cash is to “cover possible impacts on off-setting receipts.”

Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation[8], thinks the money represents something more inherent in state control of public lands. “The fact that he's asking for $50 million shows that the states don't have the resources to manage these lands,” he says. “These efforts aren’t addressing the core problem, which is that we want these public lands to be public, but we want them managed better. We want more collaboration, we want more active restoration, we want better outcomes for wildlife and recreation and water and even local economic development. Not a symbolic attempt to get a grandstand on sell-offs.”

“I don't know why Mr. Bishop is again carrying this forward,” says Land Tawney, president and CEO of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers[9]. “The people have already spoken earlier this year a resounding ‘hell no’ ”—referring to Jason Chaffetz pulling back HR 621[10] due to public outcry — “and now Bishop’s bringing this forward. His motives are obviously trying to steal our heritage, and we're not going to stand idly by.”

Activists all over the country are gearing up for an intensified fight to keep public lands public. In Nevada, for example, political leaders are looking to transfer up to 7 million acres[11] of federal land to state control. Public land advocates are currently placing big hopes on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

“I was with the secretary on Thursday, and he was crystal-clear about his commitment to keeping public lands public and preventing the whole sell-off,” Mara says. “The best thing that he can do is to start bringing people together for the management of public land, and he's already talked about investments through the infrastructure package.”

“Mr. Zinke has bucked Mr. Bishop in the past when he was on the Natural Resources Committee on issues like this," says Tawney. “I hope he does it again.”


  1. ^ set aside $50 million (
  2. ^ approved new rules (
  3. ^ MORE: The New Federal Land Transfer Rules, Explained (
  4. ^ fiscal assessment (
  5. ^ 13-page document. (
  6. ^ Wild Earth Guardians (
  7. ^ MORE: Why the Sale of an Oregon State Forest is a Bad Sign For America's Public Lands (
  8. ^ National Wildlife Federation (
  9. ^ Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (
  10. ^ Jason Chaffetz pulling back HR 621 (
  11. ^ looking to transfer up to 7 million acres (

Snowboarder Gets Impaled With an 18 Tree Branch

Credit: Natty Hagood / GoFundMe

If you ski or snowboard, you know that at some point you’re probably going to get hurt. But one snowboard instructor recently took a hit that didn’t end in a sprain or a fracture, but a full-on facial alteration courtesy of Mother Nature.

Natty Hagood, who works at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, was taking a few personal turns off the clock with his roommate and a woman from out of town who they were showing around the mountain — and when he tried to show off, things went awry. “I had made the first five turns and was coming back to the lift line when I saw a gap between two trees,” Hagood says in a report from the Kansas City Star. “With my experience, you can bash between trees and it’s not that big of a deal. But this time I guess I didn’t get away with it.”

ALSO: A Preview of the Ski and Snowboard Trends You'll See Next Winter[2]

No, he didn’t. His attempt to split the trees left him with an 18-inch branch drilled through his lower lip. But at first, he didn’t even realize he had a new addition to his face. “I thought maybe my chin strap got pushed up into my face, so I tried to brush it off and that’s when I felt the stick,” he says. “So, I shook left to right and saw the stick moving in my peripherals. I reached out and grabbed it and wiggled it before realizing it was pretty far in there.”

That’s when it clicked: “Holy crap, I just got impaled.” But instead of losing his cool, Hagood just hollered over to his roommate, “Hey look! I got a new piercing.”

MORE: The Complete Guide To Yellowstone National Park[3]

The tree branch had lodged itself into Hagood’s face so suddenly that he didn’t even feel the pain that you’re feeling right now just reading about this. While he was cracking jokes, ski patrol arrived to assess the injury and decided that Hagood needed a trip to the hospital. Meanwhile, Hagood decided the branch needed a trim. “I braced it against my cheek and snapped it down to about six inches," he says. “Ski patrol was all like, ‘You’re crazy, man.’ ”

Upon his arrival to the hospital, Hagood finally felt some pain — not because of his all-natural adornment, but because of the numbing injections that were administered before the tree branch was removed from his lip. After numbing him up, medical staff cut the upper section of his lip near the exit wound, trimmed the branch down further, and made the final removal by sliding it out the same way it went in. After giving him 15 stitches, the hospital sent Hagood home with a new lip and a bill for $1,500.

For a snowboard instructor who now had to harbor expenses such as straws for beer drinking, this was too much. Hagood immediately took to GoFundMe and started a fundraiser[4] called “Please help me pay for a new lip.” As of Tuesday morning, the page had reached its $1,500 goal, thanks to donors such as the one who pledged $100 as long as “Lipstick” (a nickname his injury has earned Hagood) gets a new haircut. For a new lip, a haircut doesn’t seem like a bad trade for Hagood.

Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time Hagood has gone viral on the Internet. Just a few weeks ago, he was caught on camera breaking up a fight between a snowboarder and a skier, because the age-old snow sports rivalry is alive and well. Here’s GoPro footage of that, which is a little less intense than those "piercing" photos, to end this story on a less gut-churning note.


Horror Stories: My Worst Day At The 'Buck

It was a hot summer day in Southern California, I was ten minutes shy of finishing my shift at Starbucks and was super excited about my afternoon plans to see my boyfriend, who lived several hours away and was home for the first time in months. It had been a pleasant morning up until that point, lots of nice regulars, easy traffic, good co-workers, and I was feeling prettay, prettay, prettay good. I'd brought a cute outfit to change into and spent time fussing on my hair that morning, making sure I'd look good when he arrived to pick me up. It was dead at that point, so the manager taking over told me to wrap up early and head out.

And then she walked in.

This woman was an afternoon regular that I'd seen only a handful of times over the years I'd worked there, since I was usually the opening manager. But I knew exactly who she was and I *thought* I knew exactly what was coming. Only I had no idea how bad it was about to get for me. She usually ordered a Venti Caramel Frappuccino with two added shots of espresso, which elevated the drink from nasty to nasty plus smelling like dog farts. Sure enough, she ordered her regular drink and I start making it, barely even wrinkling my nose at the smell of the espresso hitting the Frap base.

"Make sure you put EXTRA CARAMEL in there," she hissed, peering at me over the divider. Her eyes were small and darting, following my movements and nodding in agreement with the steps I was taking. I added an extra pump of the caramel syrup and readied the sauce bottle while the drink blended.

"I LOVE THE EXTRA CARAMEL!" she reminded me, literally four seconds later. "So make sure you put EXTRA CARAMEL IN THERE!"

I assured her I would and she responded by pressing against the plastic divider to get an even better view of her drink being made. Her smooshed up face looked like a eager slice of wet ham as she continued eyeballing me while I poured her drink into the cup.

"WAIT!" she shouted, as the cup was half full. "I want caramel in the cup."

Not an uncommon request, but a gross one. I poured her drink back in the blender and did a generous swirl of caramel sauce around the cup.

"MORE!" she implored.

"Sure, but I added extra in the drink as well, so y'know, it's gonna be real caramel-y," I said. This set her the fuck off.

"That's why I said extra caramel! That's why I order the espresso! EXTRA CARAMEL EXTRA CARAMEL!" she chanted.

At this point, the inside of the cup was completely coated in caramel with at least a 1/4 inch of the sauce at the bottom. I poured her drink into the cup, did a nice little dollop of whipped cream and went to give it one last drizzle of sauce before she had another freak out. Except my caramel bottle was empty and now I had to fill a new one.

"Just a sec," I told her, heading to the back to grab a bag of caramel sauce. I heard her say something to my co-worker like, "Can you make sure she puts caramel on top?" and I swear to god, I wanted to run back out there and choke her with the damn drink. Instead I grabbed the bag and headed back out.

At the time I worked there the caramel sauce came in these large slug-like bags. You'd snip the corner, jerk it off into a bottle, and yay. Everyone is happy (except you because you now hate something as wonderful as caramel.) So, I get the bottle full and the bag is about 1/4 full. I know, I KNOW that this nasty caramel Golem is going to ask me about it. I am bracing myself for it as I snap the lid on her drink and place it on the bar. Even though I logically know where this is heading, I'm still shocked when she asks me for the bag.

"I can't give that out, ma'am. Sorry! Have a good one."

I headed to the back room to grab my stuff, leaving her standing there with her sick drink.I'd just finished changing my shirt and touching up my make-up when I heard a huge crash from the floor. I ran out and sure enough, she was trying to reach over the bar to grab the bag and ended up knocking over a stack of clean pitchers and supplies.Her arm was flailing and half of her body was sprawled out on the bar while my poor co-worker was trying to do damage control.

"Ma'am, you are going to have to leave now. This behavior is not acceptable and you're making us uncomfortable," I explain to her.

"Just give me the bag!"

"Ma'am, I am happy to add more caramel to your drink but I cannot give out our supplies. We have been very polite to you and now I need to ask that you GO."

She pulled herself upright, drink in hand, and glared at me like I'd never been glared at before. "You EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE!" she screamed, throwing her drink at me.

It hit me in the chest, exploded instantly and covered my whole torso and my hair in a repulsive, sticky mess. I was shocked, adrenaline coursing through my veins, and taking very, very deep breaths so that I wouldn't leap over the bar and attack her. Before I could do anything, she turned around and ran out.

My boyfriend arrived a few minutes later and pitched in to help us clean up, but uhhhg. I was just done at that point and wanted to go home and cry/eat pizza in the shower. The next day, my manager informed me that she got the woman's information off her credit card and reported the whole thing to the police. I don't know what, if anything, came of it but she never returned to that store again while I was working.